Reno, NV (MyNews4.com) -- Reno High grad and former Pack star, Olek Czyz, was back in Reno for only a couple of weeks. No, he wasn’t relaxing or taking a vacation… he was putting in hard work day in and day out. For the past two weeks, Olek has been training with his long-time strength and conditioning coach, Mike Atkinson, from Elite Performance every day since he landed in Reno.
For the past 9 months, Olek spent his life overseas in Europe playing with Virtus Roma. In his first season, he averaged 5.6 points with 3.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. He helped his team make it to the Italian League Finals. The team’s success played a key role in putting Olek and his teammates on the NBA radar. Olek said, “We had a lot of NBA scouts come through our gym, check us out and go to our games so we got the spotlight.”
Last year, Czyz was on the Chicago Bulls Summer League team. He didn’t make the squad, however it did help him land a spot in Europe. A year later, Czyz gets another shot at the NBA. This time, he’ll be playing with the Portland Trail Blazers Summer League team and will try to make his NBA dreams a reality.
At Nevada, Czyz played power forward. However, if he’s going to make an NBA team, he’ll likely have to switch to small forward. Czyz has lost 15 pounds since his time in the silver and blue and has been on a strict diet to help keep him lean and agile. Atkinson, Czyz’s strength coach, says right now Olek is feeling really good, “[He] feels fresh, it keeps the legs hopping, the lighter weight keeps him a little bouncier.”
Newly hired Reno Bighorns Head Coach Jason Glover has been working with Olek for the past seven years and agrees with the transformation. Glover says, “He needs to get quicker more than stronger. He's already strong, he's strong as a horse. He looks good. I think he's ready to go to Portland and have a great camp.”
Czyz left for Portland on Sunday to begin Rookie Free Agent Summer League Camp. After that, he’ll head to Las Vegas for NBA Summer League games. For the first time since the league's inception in 2004, NBA Summer League will feature a format that includes preliminary games followed by a single-elimination tournament leading to an eventual champion. The schedule tips off on the campus of UNLV on Friday, July 12th and will conclude with the championship game on Monday, July 22nd.